Tag Archives: writing

We Only Get To Do This One Time…

Take A Risk

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about every tiny move I make. It seems as if the effort to find focus and direction in life has left me a little keyed up. I have been second-guessing my instincts. I have been letting worry get the best of me. I have found myself afraid to ask for the things I want most.

Fear is not an emotion I have a lot of trouble with, usually. Okay, yeah, sure, I have that thing about the dark. But other than that, I usually make a decision, for better or for worse, and I don’t let fear stop me from going after it. Sometimes I have gone after the wrong things. Sometimes my lack of restraint has pushed the thing I wanted further away. But wisdom and restraint don’t seem to be the issues I’m grappling with today.

Today I have been feeling afraid.

When I was a little younger and someone asked me if I thought they should, or should not, try this or that, I would ask, “If you do this, is anyone going to starve to death?” That may be a simplistic litmus test, but you get the point. We often censor ourselves, or keep from taking risks because of how we think other people are going to react, or how we think our actions will affect those around us. But really, most things aren’t life or death. 99.9% of the time, everything works out just fine in the end. You’ll live. I’ll live. They’ll live.

This train of thought reminded me of an essay I read, many moons ago, that inspired me to take up the “no one’s going to starve to death” attitude…

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

–Nadine Stair

I have no doubt that I will find the balance between planning and discipline and spontaneity and risk-taking. And when I find it, I promise to share.

For more wisdom from the elderly, Check out this blog.


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Progress Report — Day 61

With only 40 more days left of this 101 day project, a progress report is well overdue. Here goes:

1) Shuck the Superfluous Shit: I think I have sorted, priced and tagged almost 40% of what was in the house. I still have 15 or so bins full of stuff in storage yet to sort and then another, ruthless sort to do of all that remains. I estimate I will have around 30 bins full of yard sale items before I am finished. I have eleven packed away so far. I have also sold several pieces of furniture!

Streamlining of my digital life and exorcising of excess electronics is taking a bit longer, but I have all digital devices gathered up for a full inventory. Progress is imminent.

The almost obsessive amount of TV I was watching has been cut by at least 75%. Every day I spend more time on things I love, like playing music, reading, studying and “cooking”. (<– what do real raw food chefs use as a replacement verb for “cooking”?)

2) Face my Finances: I have been keeping a daily expense diary for a few weeks now and am all geared up to build that f*ing spreadsheet of all my debt this weekend. I have been working tirelessly on my goals as a writer, and school is going well. I was going to attend a 16 week course on personal finance, but have decided instead to focus on the myriad webinars, financial blogs and books available that do not require so much gasoline to take advantage of them. I have finished about 30% of “31 Days to Fix Your Finances.

3) Make-up with Morning: I have not been perfect. Mornings and I have been fighting for over 3 decades, and it has been difficult for me to come to terms with Morning’s point of view.  I have, however, done way better than I ever thought I could. I have been waking up around 5 AM for weeks. I love writing in the morning! Running and yoga in the mornings? That’s been a lot harder.

So far, I have succeeded 4 days out of 7 for 2 straight weeks to adhere to this morning routine: 1) Wake-up and write for 2 hours (No studying or electronics. Only writing during that time). 2) Get outside and run for at least 15 minutes and, 3) Do a short yoga practice and meditate.

By March 1st, I will be totally prepped to go 21 straight days. I want to fully integrate this 3-hour habit because every day I do it, the remainder of the day feels so free! It is seriously awesome.

4) Free the Fat: I am totally winning. I may not have lost much weight, but I feel like a million bucks. Raw foodism rules. I am eating at least 40% more calories than I ever have before. My relationship with food has been completely transformed. I can’t help but be convinced my cells are, as we speak, regenerating and rearranging themselves in a much hotter way. Also, I’m already plenty hot. Also, my libido is through the roof. I’m not really sure what to do about that last one. More running?

5) Divorce the Drama: I’d say I am 65% there. This experience has brought up some emotions and feelings I honestly thought I was done with. At first, I thought this meant that I was backsliding. But now I realize I just needed one more round. I already feel so. much. better. about my ability to manage my social life. By taking care of items 1 through 4 on this list, my stress level has plummeted.

6) I Am A Writer and I Act Like One: Done. I have never, until now, said that out loud or really knew I needed to say it. I can honestly say I have been a songwriter for a lot of years, but not until this project have I internalized the fact that I am also a writer with no modifier. I write. I want to be a writer when I grow up. And I am acting accordingly. I’ve been taking classes on-line, studying all types of styles, taking writing and literature classes at school, feeling out local writer’s groups, writing at a prescribed time every day and I have now updated this blog every day for 41 days. Kick Ass!

I have had so many fantastic things happen to me and because of me since I started this project. Conversely, I have also had my fair share of shitty days — days where I was literally trapped in bed, immobilized by the size of the project and wishing, mightily, for a grilled cheese sandwich. If you had told me last year, or even just 3 months ago, that I would be 61 days into a 101 day project of this scope, I would never have believed it. Yet, even though those difficult days have been very real and very daunting, here I am. I am well on my way to successfully completing this project. I am well on my way to achieving Excess Emancipation!

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